Do you have to love yourself before someone else can?

Do you have to love yourself before someone else can?

via PsychologyToday by Erica Slotter

There’s a common belief that, in order to truly love others, you must first love yourself. In order to have happy and healthy relationships with others, especially in romantic relationships, the thinking goes, individuals must first believe that they are lovable people of value themselves. Indeed, entire schools of thought in therapeutic settings within psychology have been focused on this very idea, such as person centered therapy and rational-emotive therapy.

What does it mean to love yourself in a manner that benefits not only you as an individual but also your interpersonal relationships? Researchers have long focused on high levels of self-esteem as the primary way that people feel good about themselves. As discussed in previous posts here, high compared to low levels of self-esteem generally predict individuals pursuing closeness and connection in their romantic relationships, especially when facing threatening circumstances (Murray, Holmes, & Collins, 2006).

But self-esteem can be a mixed blessing when it comes to relationships. Specifically, high self-esteem, although related to some positive relationship behaviors, is only weakly linked to overall relationship health (Campbell & Baumeister, 2004). People can actually behave quite destructively toward relationship partners when they feel that those partners have threatened their self-esteem in some way (i.e., insulted them).

So how else might people be able to feel positively about themselves that doesn’t come along with the risks of high self-esteem?

…keep reading to find out the answer to this important question HERE